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Saudi Arabia will bounce back, says Al Anaze

Thursday, January 11, 2018
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Changshu: Rakan Al Anaze will seek to make amends for dropping two points against Jordan when Saudi Arabia take on Iraq in the next round of matches in Group C of the  AFC U23 Championship 2018.

Al Anaze came off the bench to score the injury time penalty that earned the Saudis a 2-2 draw but, despite helping his team come back from two goals down in the final five minutes, the Al Nassr midfielder was disappointed with the outcome.

"This result can't be considered good for us, the only good result is to win, but we conceded goals from mistakes so the draw is better than nothing,” he said. “We hope we can make up for this result in the coming matches.

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"Always the first match in any competition is difficult for any team, so we hope after we managed to get the draw in this match we can get victories in the next two matches."

Baha Faisal scored twice to give Jordan a significant advantage with 12 minutes remaining, but Abdulelahl Al Amri halved the deficit with a close range header in the 85th minute before Al Anaze converted from the spot after Jaber Asiri had been brought down in the area.

"This was the first match, so it is natural to see mistakes, but we managed to fix the situation and we were better in the second half,” said Al Anaze. “Jordan's goals came from our mistakes and we hope to fix this in the coming matches.”

Al Anaze, who was one of the stars for Saudi Arabia at the AFC U-19 Championship in Bahrain in 2016, started the game against Jordan on the bench, but the believes his team has significant strength in depth.

"There is no difference between the starting 11 and the substitutes in our team, everyone is ready,” he said. “The coach insisted on that before the match, and the important thing is to help the team to score and get the results.

"In the match against Iraq we will start very strong and determined and we hope to get the victory.”

Photos: AFC